Saturday, March 23, 2013

March Madness: "Voting Irregularities"

" did The Human Squirrel get zero votes? I definitely voted for Ben Stoves. And I even voted for Zook. That's really strange..."
It's really not, and I'll explain why.

I started using Google's poll option on the blog fairly early on, and can't recall having any cause for alarm. I had no qualms about using the option for the first series of March Madness posts in 2011. Toward the end of that inaugural season though, things got suspicious, and I had to run the final polls twice before calling Malefic the winner with any confidence. At the time, I thought overzealous fans were doing some ballot stuffing, called shenanigans, and moved on. Unfortunately, while Despero won 2012 with fewer questions, there were still glitches throughout that season that irked me. I continued to have problems here and there with SurVILEvor Island, but the real smoking gun was when results left over from 2012 disappeared for a while in a crash. I'd initially thought that part of the problem with the 2012 season was my leaving too many old poll results in the sidebar until I could begin recording "player stats" for posterity. Thankfully, I had done that before the crash, because when the numbers were reinstated, they were flat-out wrong. I don't think the winners of any contests were incorrect, but the numerical values/margins were totally bogus. Thankfully, I'd already gone over most/all of them to feel okay with the stats offered in The Vile Menagerie versus the Legions of Doom matches.

The truth is, the number of polls in the sidebar, and especially the number of completed ones, should not be an issue. We've never had a poll that went past even forty responses, so we're hardly taking a toll on Google's network. I watched that Zook versus Scorch match suddenly, randomly, go from 50/50 to a 2-to-1 win for Scorch, and other poll results fluctuated in an unseemly manner. Quite simply, as much as I appreciate Google hosting this blog, their poll mechanism is a consistently unreliable turd. I'll use it to finish out March Madness 2013, but I'll be employing other poll resources when "Legions of Doom" restarts in April. Recommendations would be appreciated, though I intend to test drive a few in hopes of avoiding this crap in 2014.


LissBirds said...

Ah, so that's what happened. It was doing it again with my votes last night--I'm the first to vote, yet it wasn't counting it at all, it would still say 0, and others, it would put my vote in the wrong category! Strange. Last night I reloaded the page to see if my vote would be counted, then it counted some of my votes twice. Blogger has issues, for sure.

You could use or Both let you embed polls on another site, but I don't know if there's a limit to how many you can create for free. (Embed info is here: Good luck...!

Anj said...

I will say there were times where it said no one had voted. Then I voted. And then it still said no one had voted. So I also saw some irregularities but hoped things would work themselves out. At the very least, it did not allow me to vote again so no problems there.

And since most votes were going my way I (ahem) didn't bring it up before now.

I post polls about 3x a year on my site so it does give me pause.

Diabolu Frank said...

This was a good example of smaller characters doing well in their little corner before getting slaughtered by "name" players.

The Men from M.A.R.S. (4 votes)
Mister Steele 1 (25%)
King Faraday 3 (75%)

"Drink a cup of Gypsy love..." (4 votes)
Gypsy 3 (75%)
Perkins Preston 1 (25%)

The Boy meets The Harlot Queen! (3 votes)
Bel Juz 3 (100%)
T'omm J'onzz 0 (0%)

Martian Alpha & Omega! (4 votes)
Roh Kar 0 (0%)
Miss Martian 4 (100%)